Here are my preliminary topics on manners in the classroom — Manners 101: How manners are the most important thing in differentiating your student in all educational processes.
American jurist, Clarence Thomas, has said that good manners will open doors that education can’t. Emily post, the founder of modern manners, notes that manners is the acute sensitivity to the feelings of others. With this sensitivity to the feelings of others, it doesn’t matter which fork you use. Here at BeyondTutoring, we truly value the importance of having sensitivity and kindness and all of our correspondence and communication with our readers and clients. This is manners. In learning to appreciate and have sensitivity to those around you, your child will achieve beyond grades, beyond tutoring and beyond your own expectations.
The importance of a thank you note. As a child, I was forced to write every single thank you note before I got to play with any gifts I ever received. As an adult, I take this one step further. The power of the handwritten thank you is amazing. At the beginning of the school year, write a prophylactic thank you to all the people you want to advocate for your student during the year. Acknowledge their importance and thank them. This is not the time for email. I oftentimes am approached by clients, teachers and administrators who remember thank you notes from years passed.
This practice can even help in the college admissions process. One client recently told me that she has her sons and daughters write thank you notes to every single person that her sons and daughters speak to during the admissions process. And I thought I was gracious! The power of gratitude through the written word is so important to advocacy and opening doors in education.
The apology. As a mother or father of a student with a disability, I am sure you have said your share of apologies. Never apologize for your student’s disability, instead apologize for hurt feelings and when someone’s boundaries or sensitivities have been violated. Again, this is better received and said through a note, preferably handwritten. It is also important the way you apologize and take responsibility and ask if there are any re-mediating steps that can be taken to mitigate damages. Never say, I’m sorry you feel that way. The essence of grace and manners is taking the onus on yourself to make things right.
Get into the habit of written correspondence both for your gratitude and your slip ups. This cannot be overstated, something as simple as a note can open many educational doors and hearts to your own issue.
Acceptance. Another mark of good manners is your patience with those who have bad manners. As a mother, father or guardian of someone with an exceptionality, you may have to deal with rudeness and ignorance. Show these people your grace by offering knowledge and forgiveness without disdain or scorn. This will lead to your child feeling better about his or her own exceptionality and to a more educated community as a whole.
When evaluating your manners, remember the most important thing is to exhibit grace, calmness and tightness, even under extraordinary circumstances.